I got my California Disabled Placard in the mail and the reality hit me fast. I am now considered to be disabled.
I never thought of myself as disabled growing up. However, recent changes in my health have forced me to make a great deal of changes in how I operate my life. For starters, I can’t sit for hours on end at my laptop anymore. I have to take frequent breaks and use ergo cushions and a medical grade back brace.
I’m well aware that there are plenty of people who abuse the use of disabled placards. I’m not one of them. I have a number of health issues, including Osteoporosis and Interstitial Cystitis (it’s a painful bladder disease.) Basically, my bones are as weak as an elderly person and I have back pain and chest pain frequently from it. My Interstitial Cystitis causes me pelvic pain. On bad days I wear by back brace and user a walker with a tens machine strapped to me and take pain meds.
Driving around looking for a parking space a few weeks ago, I had spasms of pain as I walked to my destination. It got to the point where I didn’t want to go out because I didn’t want to walk from my car to my destination and back. My neurologist hubby pointed out that my medical issues could be grounds for a disabled placard. I spoke to my primary care physician and my urologist. They both agreed that I was a candidate for a disabled placard. I felt relieved they seemed to understand that my pain was real and hard to live with.
I do physical therapy to try to get my body stronger so that it mitigates the pain. It’s helping a bit. But I always seem to regress if I spend a day out doing something with my family. I stay home a lot still. The tens machine, which transmits an electrical current between leads, is one of my favorite things to alleviate pain. Also, I use a lot of Chinese Tiger Balm, which makes me smell like menthol and camphor.
I don’t like the label of being disabled because I don’t like being anything that could be considered not normal. But then again, I’ve never quite been normal. I was never one of the crowd. I’m not your typical anything. I don’t blend in. I teach my daughters that it’s okay to be different. Roxy has been taught to be proud to be adopted because I don’t want to make her ashamed of it.
So shouldn’t I do the same for myself? I am who I am. Right now that means I am disabled, usually wearing a black back brace. I figure my family and friends, the ones who count anyway, will love me for who I am, disabled or not. I’ve been a champion for adoption. I guess now, I will become a champion for the disabled as well.
For all of my readers, thank you for walking by me and lifting me up, regardless of who I am or how my life has changed.
Dr. Jacqueline "Jax" Cheung grew up in Sacramento, California. She is a Christian Wife, Proud Mom, Major Foodie, Sacramento Native, Elk Grove Resident, Feminist, Adoption Advocate, Blogger, Freelance Writer, and Cat Lover. Jax is the owner of the award winning Jax Chronicles Blog & Adoption Ministry. She is also the Editor-In-Chief of the Elk Grove Tribune, and freelances for Sacramento4Kids, and many other publications. Jax is married to Dr. Kenneth Cheung (Kenny). Jax and Kenny live in Elk Grove, California and have 2 daughters named Roxy and Carissa, and 3 cats named Mochi, Miso, and Mango. To follow her journey please like her Jax Chronicles Facebook page, follow her Instagram @jaxchronicles, follow her Twitter @jaxchronicles, or check out Jax Chronicles Blog & Adoption ministry.